If you’re scratching your forehead a bit (aside: do people actually do that when confused? I’m more of a brow-furrower myself) at the random musical reference, here: watch this (somewhat creepy) video (for a very awesome song!)…
Oh Florence. You rock, and I adore you (despite your rather dark music videos.) (Seriously: the voodoo parts in that video really creep me out…)
But moving right along…
Random creepiness aside (sorry about all that), what else do I adore? Our new living room ceiling light! Remember our old light?
Aka the heavy-looking, ill-placed, not-at-all us, noggin-knocker (since Sweetie bonked his head off of it no fewer than about a gazillion times?) Gone. Gone! And replaced by something much much lovelier (and melon-safe). Specifically, this:
It was cheap. It is cheerful. It just seems to fit in our living room. It makes me very happy.
And did I mention it was cheap? It was only $44.97 from my favourite folks over at Home Depot. It’s the Hampton Bay 2-Light Oil Rubbed Bronze Glenburn Semi-Flush Drum, to be exact. On the website, it looks like this…
…and I think it fits perfectly in our space. So perfectly that I actually bought a second one to replace the light at the top of our stairs. (Don’t even get me started on the light that’s currently up there – that’s a whole other story for a whole other post. Let’s suffice it to say that the existing light is quite the monstrosity. Sort of gothic. Sort of antique-y. Exceedingly ugly.)
For now I’m quite pleased with this small (but significant!) improvement.
Next, on to other, much needed living room improvements. Like, um, colour? The dark mossy green is starting to get under my skin. A lot. It’s so dark, it’s very dreary, and it’s just not us. And, after the winter we’ve had around here (could it be that spring has finally – fiiiinalllly – almost arrived?) I think I need a little more lightness-and-airyness in my life (and a lot less drab-and-darkness.)
Yep, coming soon to a living room near me? A little bit of Edgecomb Gray! Like in our last house (because I liked it just that much.) I think. Unless I change my mind. Which I tend to do a lot. I’ll keep you posted. :)
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Admission: I cringe whenever I start planning to mount things (hooks, frames, mirrors, random tapestries) on my walls. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the assumed permanency of drilling into my lovely (ie: freshly painted and yet unmarred) walls. Maybe it’s a fear of placing items too high or too low (since, um, that happens. To me. A lot.) Maybe it’s because I don’t use power tools (that’s Sweetie’s job) and because the whole anchor (necessary with our plaster walls!) + screw (in a very specific size and type) combination confuses me just a bit. Not sure. Let’s just suffice it to say that when I repainted much of this house, I actually left some of the previous owners’ screws in the walls and painted around them. The previous owners had already done the dirty work for me. Why mess with that?
But I’m thinking it’s nearly time to face this fear and address the empty wall space around my fireplace. A space that drives me a little bonkers. And now that the Christmas tree is down (it finally – FINALLY! – came down last weekend) it’s especially obvious that there’s a big gaping hole in my living room loveliness.
Yep. I’m ready to tackle the vacant (and rather sad-looking) space around old not-at-all smokey.
The corner to the left of the (faux) fireplace is particularly lonely looking. Even Sweetie exclaimed (once the tree was all packed away and the merriness banished to the attic for the next eleven months): “You’re going to put something else there, aren’t you?”
And if Sweetie (aka Mr “Oh… What’s that? You say you painted the kitchen fuchsia? I didn’t notice…”) recognizes that something isn’t quite right, something obviously must not be right.
My dilemma? What to decorate the void with. Given my fear of putting stuff on walls, I’ve been doing a lot of research on empty corner filling (since I’m a tad OCD and indecisive and generally nervous about any sort of wall-marring commitment.) A quick discussion with the lovely folk over at Pinterest (they’re exceedingly helpful over there, btw!) left me with the following suggestions…
Wall-filling strategy #1: Framed… somethings. For the record, I’m in love with this room (holy moly that’s some gorgeous tealness!) from Emily Henderson…
But what, exactly, would I put in the frames? Prints? Art? Pictures of the cats? And should I go with white frames? Dark wood frames? Metallic? Sigh.
Or I could fill the space with plates perhaps (aka “Wall-filling strategy #2.”) Just look (look!!!) at this stunning wall of pretty plates from Larissa over at mmmcrafts…
Lovely eh? I adore this idea. Although my supply of decorative plates is a little low at the moment. And planning out which-plate-goes-where seems like the sort of thing that could drive an already somewhat strange girl completely batty.
I could scatter some pretty ceiling medallions across my wall. I’ve admired Dave and Joi’s medallion-adorned wall for a long long while now…
Love love love their living room!
Or I could embrace the emptiness… This room, from my all-time most favourite designer ever Samantha Pynn (hi Sam! You rock!), makes me think that my living room void isn’t really a void afterall. Perhaps I just need to add a lovely lamp (oooh! And a chandelier!)…
I’m not sure. What I AM sure of is that something needs to happen. To spice things up a little. You know, shake it to the right (if you know that you feel fine.)
(And yep. I just quoted Spice Girls. Random? Yes. Scary? Agreed.)
Anyhow, this debate obviously isn’t over. I’ll be taping templates of some sort to my walls shortly, I’m sure. And then the inevitable (and ongoing) template rearranging will begin. And likely more Pinterest-ing too.
Being an indecisive commitment-phobe is a lot of work.
But yes! Those are my quasi plans to date. Hopefully the next time I chat about my living room walls there will be stuff strategically mounted on them.
Or, if nothing else, print/medallion/tapestry-sized paper templates.
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The carpet is stripier from the other side of the room (Ha. Get it? Grass is greener? Carpet stripier?) (Yep. I’m a dork. See? This is what happens when I have a big fat migraine)
First off, MANY MANY MANY apologies for my absence this week. It was a migraine week, and when I have a migraine (especially a multi-day migraine) (ugh) I’m only marginally-functional (with lots of emphasis on the “marginally” part.) The migraine-inducing culprit? My guess: the weather. While it’s absolutely fan-mazing-tastic that – poof! – over the past week it’s suddenly become summer (thank you Mother Nature!), my noggin paid the price, methinks. That said, I’m all better now (knocking on wood), so I’m baaa-aack. :)
Secondly… look at my living room!
I took my own advice (from THIS post) and decided the living room looks better/bigger when it’s more open (without the couch cutting across the room.) And indeed it does! I actually squealed once Sweetie and I had everything moved around (for, like, the the seventh time) (it took a couple attempts to get things just right) (it’s a good thing Sweetie loves me!)
And Jacob is pretty darn happy with the new arrangement too. He has the hugest pillow ever (aka: the couch), right next to our big front window. I’m predicting that I’ll find a prominent orange-cat ass-groove in that top cushion very very shortly.
Hope everyone has a happy and sunny Victoria Day Weekend!
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Have I ever showed you the befores of our living room? No? I didn’t think so. I’m thinking I may have skipped that step entirely (bad blogger Joy, very very bad!) In my defense, I was just so excited to show off our new faux fireplace, I went straight to the grand finale and totally skipped the prelude. But let’s make up for that now, k? :)
Let’s travel waaay back in time to October 2010. (Insert Wayne and Garth doing their squiggly doodle-oodle-oo… doodle-oodle-oo… flashback thing.) (I tried to find that clip via Youtube btw, just to give you a visual, but alas, normally-dependable Youtube failed me this morning.) (If you find that clip somewhere, please let me know!) Because the house was an absolute disaster for the first few months we lived here (I’m definitely not one of those people who moves in and immediately has everything unpacked. My friend Jess is. Oh how I envy her!) (we still have un-unpacked boxes in the basement, in fact… shhhh… don’t tell…) I don’t have many pics from the living room’s orange days. But here’s one I did find from Christmas right after we moved in…
…ah Christmas. :) Happy sigh.
(Aside: that picture kinda makes me want to rearrange our furniture – I rather liked our living room like this. Hmmm…) (See what happens when you venture into the past? You earn a fun furniture rearranging session!)
And here’s a (rather sterile-looking) shot from the original house listing…
While the orange wasn’t terrible, per se, it just wasn’t me. At all. I like orange (quite a lot actually!) but just not on my own walls. On your walls though? Awesome! :)
So that’s when I got my paint on. Needless to say, it took a good couple coats of primer to dull our glowing pumpkin walls. But a wee bit of Edgecomb Gray paint later, and I think it was all worth it.
(Please ignore the messy laptop and cords on the little green side table… Let’s call this an au naturel image, taken this morning, sans any staging k?) :)
So there you go! Just a quick little prequel post to show you where my living room all started. It still has a ways to go (SOMETHING needs to go in the far left corner, but I’m still not sure what), but it’s a far calmer space now than it was when we moved in (screaming-orange walls aren’t especially soothing.) Jacob agrees.
Now please excuse me while I go rearrange my furniture. Again.
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Our stairwell painting project is definitely not a wow-er. I wish it was – I put a lot of work into that silly little dark stairwell! Sadly, it pretty much looks the same as it did before, just better and cleaner and neater. Wanna see? Let’s consider this my not-so-big reveal…
Here’s where we started…
(See all those patches? Yep. Our stairwell was just that disasterous.)
Fast forward a couple of months and a lot of paint (BM Edgecomb Gray on the walls, and Snowfall White on the stringers, trim and doors) and here’s what that same little stairwell looks like now…
One of my favourite improvements is the mirror at the bottom of the stairs. It’s called Melissa (yep – that’s half the reason why I bought it!) and I found it on clearance at Sears a while back (the other reason why I grabbed it up!) Rona still sells this same mirror at full price (see here), so I’m quite proud of my lovely little bargain. :) It’s a dark, windowless little stairwell and this just seems to brighten the landing up a bit (plus I just think it’s pretty!)
Oooh! And see those lovely stringers near the bottom of the pic? They weren’t always so lovely. That loveliness is the result of a whole lot of filler (there was a huge gap between the stringers and the wall originally that yours truly fixed up with loads of caulking), careful (crazy time consuming!) taping (click here for pics of the groovy green tape stripes I had going for a while) and a lick of paint.
Just looks so much cleaner now. :)
The boob light at the top of the stairs has been replaced by Ikea’s amazing Alang…
(Alang is indeed a-lovely, non?)
And I painted both the doors to the upstairs bedrooms. They were originally wood-grain and coated in what appeared to be a gazillion layers of 1940s varnish. The white is way better (if you ask me!)
I heart our doorknobs. They’re old and aged and imperfectly perfect.
Lastly we added a mirror at the top of the stairs. Afterall, one must make sure she’s presentable before greeting her public. ;)
And poof! The stairwell is done. Ish. I’d like to eventually replace the thick brown (leaf-patterned) runner with something fun or striped or something like that, but for now it’s in good shape so despite that it’s brown (did I mention that it’s brown? Yep. It’s brown…) it’s staying, for a while at least. And I’d like to add something to that wall at the very bottom of the stairs (a pic from our wedding [almost 4 years ago] perhaps? We should really start printing those at some point…) but that’s not an urgent stairwell upgrade at the moment either.
For now, it’s better! If you didn’t know I’d put weeks (and weeks and weeks) of weekend-work into that little dark stairwell, you’d just think that it’s a fresh clean stairwell. But it’s the projects that you don’t notice that add the most value, I think. At least I hope. :)
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